SM East soccer matches school-best performance with trip to state semi-finals

Jay Senter - October 31, 2012 6:00 am
The Lancers celebrated after their 1-0 win over Lawrence, earning themselves a trip to the state semi-finals.

It’s official: No boys soccer team in school history has ever been better than the 2012 Lancers.

With a 1-0 win over Lawrence High School in the state quarterfinals Tuesday, SM East earned a spot in the KSHAA 6A soccer semi-finals for just the second time ever.

And they’ve got their sights set even higher.

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“We’ve achieved a lot,” head coach Jamie Kelly told his squad after the game. “But we’re not done yet. Two teams in school history have made it this far. Let’s be the team that wins one more.”

The lone goal of the night came in the first half when Bryce McClanahan snuck a shot by Lawrence goalkeeper Jeff Mekus. The rest of the night, though, Mekus put on a remarkable performance, blocking several powerful SM East shots on goal. The Lions put out a much stronger overall effort than they had when the Lancers beat them 6-1 in the regular season — Lawrence’s worst loss of the year.

“Their goalie made some huge saves, especially on the penalty kick,” Kelly said. “I talked to the boys before the game about not overlooking them, especially after the last game. I’m proud of our boys — they played hard all the way through. They love each other. They play hard for each other, and they know what’s at stake.”

The Lancers will play again Friday night at either 5 or 7 p.m., depending on the outcomes of the rest of the quarterfinal games. Should they advance to the 6A final match, they’d play again on Saturday.

Coach Jamie Kelly’s brother was on the 1996 team that made the state semi-finals.

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